Assisted by his mother Sarah and a teenage nephew named Stanford Clark, Gordon Stewart Northcott made a business and pleasure from abducting children and holding them at his isolated ranch in Riverside County, California, for his own depraved purposes and those of unidentified clients from Los Angeles. The children were subsequently killed and their bodies buried in the surrounding desert. In February 1928, the headless body of a Mexican boy was found in a ditch near Puent. Less than two months later two brothers aged eight and ten went missing after being seen in the company of Northcott at a boys’ club. Enquiries made at the Northcott ranch revealed that he had already fled to Canada. Searching the grounds the police officers found the missing head of the Mexican child. Under close questioning the nephew Clark described how Northcott had sexually abused the two young brothers before beating them to death. Sarah Northcott had little option now but to confess her part in her son’s crimes, including actively participating in one of the murders. When police intelligence had tracked Gordon Northcott down and extradited him back to California he was charged with just three murders. Although it was confidently believed that Northcott’s total body count was as many as twenty, no further remains were found. Sarah Northcott , for her part, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the nine-year-old Mexican, and Stanford Clark agreed to turn state’s evidence against his uncle. Gordon Northcott was sentenced to hang. While he was awaiting sentence on San Quentin’s Death Row, Northcott was taken ill, and firmly believing that he was about to die made a full confession to Assistant Warden Clinton Duffy. This statement, which Duffy described as a catalogue of mass murder, torture and sodomy was retained on his file when Northcott got over his far from fatal sickness. Gordon Northcott was executed on 2 October 1930.